Hatfield greengrocers closes after 98 years

ONE of Hatfield’s longest-running family businesses will close tomorrow (Saturday), after 98 years of trading.

Dollimore, the family-run fruit and vegetable wholesalers in High View, is shutting for good this weekend - just shy of its 100 year anniversary.

Owner Gary Dollimore is moving to Cambridgeshire to run a pub, The Bakers in Fulborn, with his daughter Stacey – bringing to an end one of Hatfield’s longest running independent businesses.

“I will miss it,” said Gary, 52. “Although I’m definitely looking forward to my new venture.

“We’re not turning our backs on the trade; the trade’s turned its back on us.

“When supermarkets were introduced it was the start of the downturn for the greengrocers trade.”

Established in Codicote in 1912 by Daniel Dollimore, Gary’s great-grandfather, Dollimore has been one of Times Territory’s best known and well-loved companies over the last century.

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In 1920, Daniel’s son Alfred returned from fighting in Northern Ireland, and expanded his father’s business, which was little more then a horse and cart, into a fully-fledged greengrocers.

He opened the first A.A. Dollimore shop in the now-defunct Arm and Sword Yard in Old Hatfield.

At its height, A.A. Dollimore was one of Hatfield’s most successful businesses, expanding into six separate stores and a wholesale warehouse.

During World War Two, Alfred was appointed to the Ministry of Food, and stockpiled 100 tons of potatoes in case of invasion.

Alfred died in 1965, leaving his business to his eight children – sons Leslie, Lionel, Leonard and Lawrence, and daughters Phyllis, Pamela, Patricia and Pauline.

In 1989, the two surviving sons, Lionel and Lawrence, decided to retire.

Lionel’s son Gary took over, reinventing the company as wholesaler G. Dollimore, based in High View, where the company has been located ever since.

Now 82, Lionel thanked all his loyal customers down the years.

“I’d like to thank all the customers and friends past and present that have supported our business over the past 98 years,” he said.

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